A statement by Republican Sen. John McCain, reported last Thursday by The Washington Post, portrays the real situation of North American policy. The senator, defeated in the 2008 elections by Obama, mockingly said (translation ours) “Surprise, surprise, they came asking for more money,” referring to the visit made by the presidents of the Northern Triangle of Central America to Washington D.C. to discuss the topic of undocumented immigrant children.

McCain again supported a visceral rejection of immigrants; he is one of the primary obstacles to the immigration reform proposed by his adversaries, the Democrats. Later, he added that aid to the region will depend on compromises that Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador make to strengthen border security and resolve the immigration problem.

This legislator’s stance conflicts with the White House’s efforts as well as with those of the three Central America nations [that make up] the Northern Triangle. They’ll look to deal with a problem that, according to President Pérez Molina, requires investing some $2 billion in projects to create living conditions that attract current and future immigrants. The idea would be that [people] don’t leave for the United States in search of health, security, education and work because they would have that in their native countries.

It seems that Obama understands, like his Central American colleagues, that in order to inhibit the migratory flow from these regions, there should exist conditions and basic opportunities that allow human development. Closing our borders or oppressing those in those countries who decide to travel illegally does not weaken the legality of these decisions, except that it wouldn’t work. Obviously, neither McCain nor his radical followers have the ability or desire to understand the part of sociopolitical education encompassed by the proposal to aid the region so that it may develop.

The radical position of people like McCain creates the scenario of a complex and prolonged political battle in the United States. Meanwhile, behind the four-nation front a proposal is being prepared that could be intelligent and feasible. It’s a type of Plan Colombia; a country of 1.1 million square kilometers, with 48 million inhabitants, situated four times the distance from the North American border, which received $10 billion to tackle the drug issue and that can be found behind all this tragedy.

The Northern Triangle of Central America supposes other considerations, possibly based more on humanism. Thinking about the underdevelopment that the Cold War left in Central America is a topic that wouldn’t be comfortable to confront for the United States. According to McCain, those countries should solve the problem in a way where they provide explanations related to their own intervention and political handling. It’s the same position that the radicals have taken related to drug trafficking; motivated — in short — by U.S. consumption, but fought with the resources of countries along the way, like Guatemala.